Rachel Maddow called out former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on her Monday show, accusing him of dodging her requests to come on his show even as he was accusing her of avoiding him.
Pawlenty had been a guest on Maddow's show multiple times before his doomed presidential campaign. Since that campaign ended, he has become something of a regular presence on MSNBC, appearing on Lawrence O'Donnell's show several times. During one of those appearances, he said of Maddow, "she's been afraid of me. She used to have me on her show but she's ducking, bobbing, weaving ... tell her to come out and let's have it on, let's get it on."
Since accusing someone of ducking an interview is just about the lowest insult someone can sling in the cable news business, Maddow returned fire.
She said her team had called Pawlenty multiple times, only to be told every time that he was not available. Maddow wondered what was going on with Pawlenty, "since he has been pounding his chest on TV saying I'm ducking him." She then noted that Pawlenty was, in fact, going on O'Donnell's show right after hers was finished -- meaning that he was in the MSNBC building.
"Tim Pawlenty may play a tough-guy politics action hero who wants to 'get it on' and all that, but apparently when he says that, he's just kidding," she said. "...Stop talking smack if you can't back it up."
And, amazingly, Maddow got results, managing to shame Pawlenty into mending his ways. When the show returned, the former governor was on set -- if only very briefly. "I'm here," he said sheepishly. "This doesn't count," Maddow said.